As I sit in my house watching Andy Samberg in Palm Springs on Hulu, it seems appropriate to start the newsletter the same way I did last spring “I’ve started and deleted this opening paragraph 50 times. Nichole, at the winery, is emailing me, “Get. Me. The. Newsletter.” Usually, I know what to say; sometimes it’s even funny.” Because that’s exactly where I am again – 8:21 pm, the newsletter goes out at 8 am tomorrow and writer’s block. So I’m going to drink another bottle of the amazing 2016 Walla Walla Syrah (see tasting note) – in this release and coming to you soon, and figure it out. Worked for Faulkner.
Since the only words coming to my brain are “these wines are freaking great,” which is 100% true, I’ll start with what our family calls “thankfuls.”
I’m thankful for our talented growers, who, year after year, provide world-class fruit for us to make wine. This release showcases our best growers – the Sauer Family, Dick Boushey, Leif Olsen, and Chris Banek, who farms our estate vineyards.
I’m thankful for harvest. As round and round as things are right now, the world goes on and I can’t help but get excited about this fall. The harvest crew is starting to arrive, temperatures checked, masks issued. This vintage is lining up to be stellar. Tomorrow, I will begin walking vineyards, which I will do almost every day until the middle of October. Out the door at 5:30 am, walking, looking, tasting, feeling how the vineyard changes. It tells us when it’s ready. I’m convinced this is the key to world-class winemaking.
I’m thankful for the Gramercy staff. We have pivoted multiple times at the winery – tasting room closed, tasting room with 20 people, tasting room closed again, furious cleaning, tasting room outside, etc. I’m so proud of the staff and how they have rolled with everything. They have created a beautiful experience on the crush pad overlooking the Gramercy Riveria. If you are coming for harvest, stay tuned for our Friday/Saturday night Gramercy Wine Bar – old vintages and rare wines by the glass and bottles. Samples from around the world.
I’m thankful for the future. We have a very cool project in the works. Lease signed, designers hired, here we go. Is the timing right? Nope, it’s Crazy Eddie Insane, but I believe in Seattle and the future of wine in Washington. I can’t yet say exactly what we are doing, as we gave Tik Tock the rights to the exclusive reveal. So I will say this, “A Somm and Syrah, a Pro Bowler and Bordeaux. Definitely some Bubbles, Barbaresco or Barolo, and maybe some Bresaola. Wine, dine, and online, let’s be Pioneers.” And no, we are not doing a wine club trip to Italy, as someone guessed. This project will take me back to my roots. (No, it’s not a Carvel franchise either.) I’m really excited about it. Details to come!
On to the wines in the box. This is a Rhône lovers box. It’s a box that embodies change – new vineyards, former vineyards, new ideas, ideas that have run its course. Last year, we officially introduced a Red Willow Vineyard designate Syrah to the portfolio. This fall marks our second release of this vineyard. The 2017 Red Willow “Lagniappe” Syrah is 95 points good. Double the bottles in the box. Secondly is the – 2017 “L’Idiot du Village” Mourvèdre from Alder Ridge & Olsen Vineyards. The 2017 wine is probably our best Mourvèdre vintage ever. Yes, this is potentially better than the 2011 L’Idiot. The third wine is a blast from the past with new vineyards. The 2016 Walla Walla Syrah is a “drink alone in one sitting while writing the newsletter” kind of wine. Pure magic. Next, the 2016 “Oldfield” Syrah MTA. Boushey fruit and another confirmation that certain critics totally missed the greatness of 2016 in Washington. Finally, we have the 2016 “Inigo Montoya” Tempranillo, last of his name. We killed him.
To see the release and to order additional bottles, please click below. As always, thank you so much for your support of Gramercy Cellars. Stay tuned for the virtual tastings coming soon!
Please click on the link below for extended tasting notes on the Fall Release Wines.
Visiting Us – 11/6 & 11/7
We can’t wait to see you for Fall Release! We’ll catch up about harvest, inevitably talk about smoke and COVID, lament about the final Inigo Montoya Tempranillo, and then push it all aside to focus on the Rhône powerhouse that is the Fall Release.
To everyone making the trip to Walla Walla, Fall Release weekend will look a bit different this year, since we can now accommodate guests by appointment only. Additionally, for this special weekend, we will open our Harvest Winebar all day on Friday and Saturday with glass pours and bottles of 20+ older vintage and MTA club wines for purchase. See attached below for the full glass pour & bottle list.
As always, but especially under the current circumstances, our top priority is everyone’s safety. Weather permitting, we will host Fall Release outside. If it rains or is particularly chilly, we will host you in our tasting room and cellar with all doors and windows remaining open for the most ventilation possible. In either event, please dress for the weather! Tables will be placed at least 6′ apart with all precautions in place. Walla Walla County is currently in Phase 2, so groups are strictly limited to 6 people. We cannot accommodate large groups making reservations under multiple names and asking to be seated close together.
Please click the Reservations tab in our menu to make an appointment.